Pros: Lots to do & see. Good weather and very nice scenery.
Cons: The most isolated city in the world.
Before I came to Perth in 1996 I used to live in Adelaide which even though is still part of Australia, is a very different city to Perth. We decided to move to Perth for family reasons but also because it was supposed to be a better city all round. This was certainly true in a number of areas and I quickly overcame the fairly dull and boring (this applies to the weather as well) Adelaide to accept a much more interesting and better looking city of Perth. It's very hard to describe this city but there are definitely some things you can proudly state about this city. It's definitely never boring. There is all year round something new to see and do, and not just sporting wise. The weather here is almost perfect compared to other cities in Australia. One of the reasons for this is that Perth is the sunniest city in the world. We have more sunny days and warm weather then any other city in the world. This definitely gives the place a more positive feel because even in winter you can come and visit and you are sure to see some nice weather. Apart from this Perth is also the second most windiest place in the world. Don't worry. This doesn't mean gale force winds every day, it just means that we get more windier days than other places in the world. At least this makes the air fresh and clean every day.
Perth is located in Western Australia (also known as WA) and is the capital city of this state. WA is the largest state in Australia size wise, but has a population of approximately 1 500 000 people. As for Perth we are set to have just over 1 300 000 people living in our city. It is located on the shore of the Indian Ocean, which means that there are hundreds of different and great beaches in Perth. Another interesting fact that supports my theory of Perth being very interesting is that we apparently have the most restaurants per head in the world. This is also a very large city in the fact that it is spread out over a fairly big area of land. It would take you at least an hour by car to get from one part of the city to the other. The city has two airports (domestic and international) which operate daily and provide flights in and out of the city with most major international airplanes. We also have five major universities (UWA, Curtin, Murdoch, Edith Cowan and Notre Dame) which have campuses in and around the city and provide you with hundreds of courses to study. Just to show how isolated we are, our closest city (Adelaide) is more than 2300km away (approximately 1300 miles). Has a very good and healthy economy which is located around it's mineral wealth. The government in power in WA at the moment is the Labour Party. I don't know why I'm mentioning this because it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Just in case someone was interested.
This is certainly what attracts people to the city in the beginning. As I said, we are the sunniest and the second most windiest place in the world. Our summers are very warm (temperatures are 30 degrees celsius during the day to 15 degrees during the night on average) and occur from December to February (we celebrate Christmas in summer). Winter is from June to August and because we are located near the ocean, our winters aren't severe or very cold for that matter. During winter temperatures range from 20 degrees celsius during the day to 5 degrees during the night on average. Every day though in the afternoon around 3 or 4pm we receive a strong breeze which is know as "the Fremantle Doctor". This is just a fairly strong gust of wind that lasts for a few hours and comes from the Indian Ocean. Overall our weather can be summarised as being a moderate Mediterranean climate.
Perth is fairly different from the rest of Australia because our prices on most things are lower than the other cities in the country, and this is a positive. People think that just because the place is isolated they can't put the prices up because no one will live here. This quite a stupid thing because Perth is a very self-sufficient city on it's own and we have great industries in our state which provide us with what we need. Prices on food and clothing are the same but transport and even buying your own house is up to 50% cheaper than in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. Especially when it comes to buying your own house. Perth has the lowest home prices in the country which means that you can buy your own home quicker. Unlike other cities located in the east, we don't have any road tolls anywhere in our state which saves you money every day.
This is also another benefit of living in Perth, is that it provides you with great scenery in and around the city. WA is a very varied state in terms of scenery and landscape as well. From the rainforest in the south to the great sandy desert in the north, it really shows you how different and spread out the state really is. The city is also located on the beautiful Swan River which divides the northern and southern parts of the city. The wonderful river was named after the swans that live on it. These swans are actually black in colour which might be surprising to you, but still makes them look very beautiful. To the east of the city we have the Darling Ranges which provide you with some spectacular views during the day and at night as well. The city is also full of parks where you can walk, play sport and even go for picnics or have a barbecue.
Where to go
Because Perth is a very large place and full people, there are hundreds of places to visit every day, and if you're coming to visit you will have to stay for at least 3 weeks if you want to take in all the sights. First of all the nicest place to see is Kings Park which is a huge botanical garden style park. It is located just a five minute walk from the city center and includes great panoramic views of the city. It includes restaurants, picnic areas, parks, cycling and walking tracks as well as some of the nicest plants in the world, especially in summer. If you are looking for a good night out with live music and lots to do and see then you can't go past Fremantle and Northbridge. These two suburbs of the city are bursting with night-life and are full of restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment arenas. Fremantle is a port suburb and is the most multicultural place in the whole of WA for sure. It is also a place full of hippies in case you are interested.
During summer there is only one place during the day you can go to, and that's the beach. Perth is situated on the coast line and there are simply hundreds of beaches to choose from in Perth and around the state. The best beaches to go to in Perth are Cottesloe, Scarborough and Trigg Beach. The Perth Zoo is also a very interesting place to visit and is especially good for a family outing. There is also quite a few national parks to visit just outside the city which provide you with some great fauna & flora. As I said, there are lots of places to visit but these are just a few of the main things you can see and do while you stay in Perth.
Where to stay
There is certainly not a shortage of where you can stay in Perth. World famous hotels such as the Hyatt, Hilton and Sheraton are located in the city center and provide you with great service and accommodation, but at a price. If you are looking for a more cheaper stay there are numerous motels and backpacker hostels available across the city. All of the information on where to stay you can find at Perth Airport, and don't worry about vacancies, there is always a place to stay at in Perth.
I am definitely recommending Perth for a visit or even if you are looking to permanently move and live here. There is lots to see and do so you won't get bored. Prices are fairly cheap on some important things so that's always nice. The weather is also very good all year round and you are sure to see a sunny day while you're here. It is also a place with great scenery and wonderful diversity geographically and culturally as well. I hope you visit Perth because you are sure to like just like a lot of other people (including me) did.